Valletta take sole leadership in the BOV Premier League but once again, the Citizens were held in a 2-2 draw by Tarxien Rainbows – a repeat of the first round result. The Citizens lead the table with 34 points, one ahead of second-placed Birkirkara.
It was a fair result as although Valletta held the initiative for long stretches, the Rainbows controlled their opponents well.
David Camilleri and Gianluca Calabretta were back for Noel Coleiro’s side from suspension although the latter was only included as a substitute. Luke Dimech was missing for Valletta as he serves a one-match ban.
The Rainbows forged ahead after just two minutes when off a cross from the left by Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro managed to lob the ball over goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.
A long-distance freekick by Everton Antonio Pereira was turned into a corner by Hogg. The Citizens went close on 19 minutes with Terence Scerri serving Njongo Priso inside the area but the latter concluded high.
Valletta levelled matters on 31 minutes when a shot from the edge of the area by Roderick Briffa was blocked by Anthony Curmi but off the rebound, Terence Scerri placed the ball at the back of the net.
Following a long throw-in by Steve Borg from the right, a header by Jamie Pace was cleared off the goal-line by Andrew Decesare and on 35 minutes, a goal-bound diagonal shot by Roderick Briffa was deflected into a corner by a defender.
On 65 minutes, Njongo Priso entered the penalty area from the left but his conclusion was blocked into a corner. Three minutes later, Priso served Gilbert Agius whose shot from the edge of the area ended high.
The Citizens were now all out on the attack with the Rainbows trying their best to keep their opponents at bay.
However Valletta managed to take the lead on 79 minutes when a cross from the right was not held by Anthony Curmi.
But their joy was short-lived as a minute later, Tarxien restored equilibrium with a great volley by David Camilleri which gave Andrew Hogg no chance.
Denni Rocha Dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.
TARXIEN Anthony Curmi, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, David Camilleri, Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Mark Tanti (74′ Kurt Magro), Andrew Decesare (60′ Gianluca Calabretta), Denni Rocha Dos Santos (88′ Lee Galea), Ryan Mintoff, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Ryan Previ, Warren Zerafa, Ryan Grech.
Coach: Noel Coleiro Asst. Coach: Michael Church
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg, Steve Bezzina, Kenneth Scicluna, Edmond Agius (81′ Jordi Cruijff), Jamie Pace, Gilbert Agius (89′ Declan O’Brien), Kevin Sammut (72′ Dyson Falzon), Terence Scerri, Roderick Briffa, Njongo Priso.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Cleavon Frendo, Yessous Camilleri, Dylan Grima.
Coach: Ton Caanen Team Manager: Henk Thenissen
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Asst. Referees: Alan Camilleri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: K. Scicluna, S. Borg, J. Grioli
Meanwhile Msida St. Joseph defeated Dingli Swallows 2-1 in a clash between the two bottom teams.
Both sides were unable to field their best formation as Dingli’s Roderick Briffa, Shawn Tellus and Kevin Borg together with Msida’s Adam Spiteri and Kevin Mifsud were all ruled out through suspension.
The Saints held the initiative right from the start, going close with a Joseph Damato effort from outside the area which ended just wide on 21 minutes. Three minutes later, Kalenga Ndayi served Andrew Formosa whose close range shot was blocked by the Dingli custodian. A shot by Lydon Micallef was deflected into a corner on 35 minutes.
The Swallows were reduced to ten men on 42 minutes when Clint Caruana was sent off by referee Esther Azzopardi for using foul language.
Msida took the lead on 52 minutes when off an intelligent pass by Emiliano Lattes, Tyrone Farrugia controlled the ball inside the area before hitting low past goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia.
The Saints doubled the score on 76 minutes when off a pass by Emiliano Lattes from the left, Andrew Formosa hit home.
Dingli pulled one back one minute from time when off a Kurt Formosa corner from the left, Joseph Okonkwo beat goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
Tyrone Farrugia was voted BOV Player of the Match.
DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Clint Caruana, Roderick Spiteri, Haruna Doda, Kurt Formosa, Christian Muscat, Dino Cachia, Etienne Farrugia (44′ Christopher Azzopardi), Matthew Borg, Andre Rocha Da Silva (49′ Dylan Zarb), Joseph Okonkwo.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Charlon Sammut, Bruce Genovese, Victor Fiteni, David Camilleri.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit Team Manager: Mark Chetcuti
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Lydon Micallef, Matthew Borda, Cedric Sciberras, Adrian Farrugia, Joseph Damato (84′ Miguel Ciantar), Zoran Levnaic, Tyrone Farrugia, Emiliano Lattes, Kalenga Ndayi, Andrew Formosa (87′ Vincenzo Brincat).
Subs not used: Gallen Mifsud, Baldassare Borg, Charlie Black, Larson Agius, Damien Debono.
Coach: Keith Gouder Team Manager: Robert Farrugia
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Asst. Referees: Konrad Borg, Joe Camilleri
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Micallef
Red Cards: 42′ Clint Caruana